ESPN did a projection of each Eastern Conference NBA team. To nobody's surprise, they have the Cavs finishing first and the Bulls right behind them. A loooong way down the page you'll find the Celtics sitting at number 12. They project 28 wins which puts them 5 games behind the Pistons and just a game ahead of the Magic. The Bucks are 14th and as you might have guessed, the Sixers are dead last (projected to only win 18 games).
Meanwhile, in a related ESPN article, Forsberg continues his Summer Forecast with the question "How will the Celtics season end?" (and he provided some options including making the playoffs, "competitive" meaning just missing the playoffs, and "Tanksville.")
Here's a sampling:
Bill Sy, CelticsBlog (Competitive) You can pencil in a few Eastern Conference teams into the playoffs: Cleveland, Chicago, Washington, Toronto, Miami, and Brooklyn. That leaves two spots for Indiana, Charlotte, Atlanta, New York, and Detroit. Boston could finish better than a couple of those teams, but I doubt they leapfrog four of them.
Jon Duke, Celtics Stuff Live (Tankville) It's going to be ugly.